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Australia: Sow stalls a thing of the past

Sow stalls are in the spotlight again, and it may become a thing of the past in Australia.

The pork industry in Australia will consider phasing out sow stalls if it is backed by the country's governments and retailers, according to reports.
Consultation process
Australian Pork Limited (APL) has announced today that a five month consultation process is to take place, named 'Shaping our Future.' Sow gestation stalls, imports, labelling and labour will be the issues under review. Andrew Spencer, APL chief executive, has said that the consultation process would give leeway to delve into the views of the industry and other key sector stakeholders.
Phasing out sow stalls
"The gestation stalls issue cannot be viewed in isolation. If sow stalls are phased out, it is likely that pork producers will experience a decrease in productivity. There will be increased demand for labour and for skilled staff to meet the specialist needs of other housing systems; consequently labour costs for producers will increase. Should producers ultimately agree to move down the path of a gestation stall-free environment, the industry will need strong support from retailers as well as both state and federal governments,” added Spencer.
Tasmanian Government has made the decision a week ago to phase out sow stalls over three years. The phasing out will begin in 2014, which sparked criticism from APL and others groups as it is seen as a decision made in isolation.
APL will see to it that talks about these complex issues will take place with the relevant stakeholders; producers, retailers, regulators, credible welfare organisations and others.

Source: weeklytimesnow.com.au

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